Watch Joaquin Phoenix Do a Creepy Dance in ‘Joker’ | Anatomy of a Scene

  • Published: 07 October 2019
  • A run-down bathroom with a flickering fluorescent light, a swooning piece of music and some slow, deliberate moves. Those spare ingredients go into crafting this downbeat but memorable moment from “Joker.”

    When the scene begins, Arthur Fleck (a.k.a. the Joker, played by Joaquin Phoenix) has just had an intense, life-defining moment and finds a bathroom to collect and calm himself. He does so with a dance that the director Todd Phillips said Phoenix came up with on the day of the shoot. In his narration, Phillips discusses the music (by Hildur Gudnadottir), and how he and Phoenix came to change the scene from what was in the script.

    Read the NYT review:
    More from The New York Times Video:
    Whether it's reporting on conflicts abroad and political divisions at home, or covering the latest style trends and scientific developments, New York Times video journalists provide a revealing and unforgettable view of the world. It's all the news that's fit to watch.
  • Entertainment Entertainment

Comments • 3 941

  • Task Don
    Task Don  20 minutes back

    The dance fit so well into Joker's characteristic because after tasting blood for the first time in his life that he wants to celebrate by dancing. This moment is not the birth of Joker, this is the moment of rebirth of Joker. As he said later on, he doesn't have the "condition" because this is him: a natural psychopath that has been suppressed by life and society which just need a moment for him to finally break free.

    • Henry Gonzalez
      Henry Gonzalez  3 hours back

      Man the acting was great... it was hard cord he new the moves...

      • kay jones
        kay jones  3 hours back

        The perfect scene, tai chi joker style....

        • Best Gmn
          Best Gmn  3 hours back

          It's so theatral...become THE personnage it's not easy...he is the 🤡. Two personnage! Thumbs'up To Phoenix♥️

          • docdurdin
            docdurdin  5 hours back

            The entertainment media (in total) is very proud of how well they dance with the news media to influence and control the herd mentality of the public. Actually, the industry would agree with me that their work is exquisite and artful, although shameful and destructive. The actual JOKE is on you. For the youth who are blinded by an entrained obsessive need for acceptance, this work is genius. If you haven't noticed, most actors today have a different avenue of training. They have been stripped of any real personality, left only with an alter ego created by the industry in control, like trained animals. The real wake up call came from the LAST JOKER..... Might you wonder what really happened to him? There are no exits from the deal.

            • rhyka101
              rhyka101  5 hours back

              I saw the film last night. Superbly directed and an amazing performance from Phoenix. Twists that hit you hard and unapologetic violence. Homages to previous movies and thought provoking social commentary. The use of a cello and the music score overall beautifully matches the moods created.

              • BeeHugger 7
                BeeHugger 7  10 hours back

                This is better titled
                " joker does qi gong"🙃

                • MALi Moor
                  MALi Moor  10 hours back

                  The dance of change.

                  • PITUFINA
                    PITUFINA  11 hours back

                    Masterpiece Phoenix !!! Hopefully will win the Oscar

                    • Chris Mequet
                      Chris Mequet  15 hours back

                      I wish that Todd waited like 1 more week to talk about the behind the scenes stuff. Only for the simple fact that some people might have not seen this before watching the movie.

                      • Simple Figure
                        Simple Figure  18 hours back

                        Wanna hear a joke?

                        Joker 68%
                        Batwoman 69%

                        • guritza80
                          guritza80  23 hours back

                          Genius ♡

                          • Day One
                            Day One  24 hours back

                            This is THE best movie of 2019 ! Bring in the oscars

                            • David P
                              David P  1 days back

                              Ever dance with the Devil in the pale bathroom light?

                              • Mohammad Albeshari
                                Mohammad Albeshari  1 days back

                                I love this movie

                                • oshitomaha
                                  oshitomaha  1 days back

                                  I thought “martial arts” at first when I was at a theater.

                                  • A P
                                    A P  1 days back

                                    Nothing creepy about his dance

                                    It’s quite beautiful... like tai chi

                                    • Venom
                                      Venom  2 days back

                                      Venom Vs Joker?

                                      • Bray Bay
                                        Bray Bay  2 days back

                                        Joaquin as Joker as Thom Yorke in Lotus Flower.

                                        • Leontief Modell
                                          Leontief Modell  2 days back

                                          That was one of the most striking scenes of the movies, to me.

                                          All alone by himself, able to express something he would never express when being surrounded by other people, in a way venting his sanity and pulling in the madness through his almost ballet-like dance moves. It's like when you've hit the right amount of drunkenness, where you feel everything upped to 11 and don't feel drunk yet. So intimate. The haunting cello soundtrack, as well as the lighting and particularly the camera work, make this such a special moment. When everything just aligns perfectly.

                                          When I walked out of the theater a week ago I said to my friends:"What you have just witnessed is a performance you only get to see every 10-20 years. We can really feel blessed to have seen this."

                                          • Martin Macdonald
                                            Martin Macdonald  2 days back

                                            Critics say: Joker is a derivative mess that glorifies violence
                                            Critics think: Woke orthodoxy dictates that mentally-ill white males shall have no help or sympathy, fathers are not necessary in their children's lives, eat-the-rich is a noble goal, it's all Trump's fault. I'd better pan this masterpiece.

                                            • Giusy Anastasi
                                              Giusy Anastasi  2 days back

                                              Capolavoro assoluto

                                              • monai
                                                monai  2 days back

                                                I saw this scene and the first word that came to mind was "glory." In this particular moment, I feel like the "Joker" was born. Those larger than life movements AND the way he revels at himself in the mirror, ugh, just brilliant.

                                                • Adeline
                                                  Adeline  2 days back

                                                  This movie is so good that I'm seriously a little scared of knowing too much about it but still I wanna know more about it

                                                  • Elaine Clements Finn
                                                    Elaine Clements Finn  2 days back

                                                    Unfortunately it's very relatable for me.

                                                    • southpakrules
                                                      southpakrules  2 days back

                                                      Joker Critics score 69%
                                                      Ghostbusters 2016 Critics score 74%.
                                                      I'll just leave it at that.

                                                      • Jeffrey Baker
                                                        Jeffrey Baker  2 days back

                                                        I think the most pivotal and important scenes in the movie

                                                        • Richard Miller
                                                          Richard Miller  2 days back

                                                          Hey! Did your columnist making this into some white racist story get his diaper changed yet?

                                                          • Ragnarok
                                                            Ragnarok  3 days back

                                                            IMO, his weird dances signifies the birth and liberation of the narcissist within.

                                                            • Germanas Pancerovas
                                                              Germanas Pancerovas  3 days back

                                                              it s noy creepy dance, it s a meditation dance they practice as therapy in menatl hospitals

                                                              • storyofwill
                                                                storyofwill  3 days back

                                                                I love the joker dancing scene!!

                                                                • Desi Areros
                                                                  Desi Areros  3 days back

                                                                  is like jaipong dancer from indonesia

                                                                  • Hi_Frankie
                                                                    Hi_Frankie  3 days back

                                                                    Why "a little less than the next time we see him dance"? Why wouldn't any dance after this dance be still 100% joker?

                                                                    • Patricia Canton
                                                                      Patricia Canton  3 days back

                                                                      Thats whats called perfection

                                                                      • Hawk
                                                                        Hawk  3 days back

                                                                        This movie was so different and exciting. Joaquin deserves an Oscar. 🌟

                                                                        • megane verard
                                                                          megane verard  3 days back

                                                                          This scene was so amazing and so important in the storyline I think... And the music! What a masterpiece

                                                                          • Rocko 97
                                                                            Rocko 97  3 days back

                                                                            Just this part alone in theater gave me chills the fact that he enjoyed killing those 3 young men by dancing! much expression by slow movement
                                                                            Love this movie so much

                                                                            • Γιώργος Γραμματικάκης

                                                                              Τhe joker movie has a social and political character that punches the establishment. The movie touched me a lot.

                                                                              • Daniel Gallimore
                                                                                Daniel Gallimore  4 days back

                                                                                I loved this movie and i will see it a second time

                                                                                • AcCeSsDeNiEd65
                                                                                  AcCeSsDeNiEd65  4 days back

                                                                                  I want to see joker dance on stairs again!

                                                                                  • U U
                                                                                    U U  4 days back

                                                                                    This Is a Masterpiece! You need to Have Every Scene in the Movie with Thought Contained Inside. Not Showing hundreds of Superheros just to Fill up the Screen.

                                                                                    • Aleksandar Ilijasevic
                                                                                      Aleksandar Ilijasevic  4 days back

                                                                                      Who cares about the Oscar, everybody knows, this is outstanding acting performance

                                                                                      • qυєєη lєкα
                                                                                        qυєєη lєкα  4 days back

                                                                                        Isn’t it Tai Chi?

                                                                                        • rose rose
                                                                                          rose rose  4 days back


                                                                                          • Warganet Ganteng
                                                                                            Warganet Ganteng  4 days back

                                                                                            I believe this dancing scene already become a cult classic

                                                                                            • DEAD POOL
                                                                                              DEAD POOL  4 days back

                                                                                              Joker begin

                                                                                              • Love GOD, Times Square Media Productions

                                                                                                Anton river Hollywood producer, suffocating a sick woman because you were abused by a crazy boyfriend messes up the script there's no Poetic Justice there

                                                                                                • blessie navarro
                                                                                                  blessie navarro  4 days back

                                                                                                  This is my favorite scene....